She transformed how we shopped at Topshop, helping establish the women’s label as a high street leader, and most recently she reinvented Whistles into a well-regarded, savvy and on-trend brand favoured by royals (Kate Middleton is a fan) and trendsetters alike. So it’s safe to say, when it comes to style, Jane Shepherdson is somewhat of a connoisseur.
Sadly, eight years after being at the helm of Whistles (she was the CEO), the fashion guru and businesswoman has announced she will be leaving the brand, handing the reigns over to brand director Helen Williamson, managing director Justin Hampshire, and creative director Nick Passmore.
However, before doing so Jane Shepherdson shared with us some valuable style insights:
On her personal style:
I strive for chic, laid back and effortless, but I’m not sure that I ever achieve it!
On her most treasured fashion item:
This changes from season to season, but right now it has to be my gold Gucci loafers – they make any outfit look considered, and totally cool.
On the most expensive item she owns:
A full length Whistles sheepskin coat from a couple of seasons ago. We only made 10, but it is something that I will love forever, and it gets better looking with age – I wish I did!
On her best fashion bargain:
I love Celine, but can rarely justify buying it at full price, so was delighted to pick up a pair of Khaki cropped trousers and a bright yellow leather tote for a fraction of the full price.
On her top tips for clothes shopping:
If you see something that you love, and it fits, buy it! Always experiment. You can get into a rut so quickly, and new silhouettes pass you by, whereas they can often give your wardrobe that shot of relevance that it needs. Don’t shop when you are feeling down, as you always make mistakes.
On her go-to fashion pieces:
Cropped black trousers and a white shirt, however they need to be kept up-to-the-minute. This season the trousers are with a wider leg, and the shirt is softer, with embroidery details.
On the inside of her wardrobe:
It’s pretty simple. All rails in the first one, half rails with drawers and shoe racks in the second and third, and full rails with shoe racks in the fourth.
On how she organises her fashion:
I like to display it to category for example all tops go together, all trousers are together, and then dresses and coats go on the full length rails together. It makes it easier in the morning when I have little time.
On her biggest fashion faux pas:
Far too many to list! In my younger days I thought that every fashion fad was going to change my life, so I bought into it whether it suited me or not..I have developed a style of my own as I got older, but still have an orange and black Miu Miu jacket that I have never worn, and never will but can’t bear to get rid of it.
On key fashion essentials every woman should have:
Black and navy cropped trousers, a leather jacket, cashmere knits in neutral colours, silk shirts and amazing shoes. Usually a simple outfit is given a point of view with a great pair of shoes.
On pieces from the latest Whistles collection that she loves:
This autumn collection is the strongest we have had for some time, and I have already purchased several of the key pieces. My favourites are: the tuxedo jumpsuit – the jumpsuit if the perfect solution for so many different kinds of event, it’s way cooler than a dress, but is very appropriate for weddings, evening, or just a more casual night out with trainers; the loafer suede boots are a definite, and will bring all my denim up to date; the nude reversible bomber jacket; and the soft pink coat works with everything.
On the key trends we should invest in:
Texture and colour are important this season, so knits and coats with tweedy flecks are key. The slightly cropped jean or trouser with a square toed boot, the bomber jacket, and of course, the off the shoulder dress or top are also good buys this season.
On timeless trends:
The leather biker jacket, the white shirt, the snakeskin ankle boot, the parka, the cashmere jumper, and the LBD.
Checkout more from the Whistles collection at whistles.com